Judicial Watch has released documents obtained from the Department of Justice and the Internal Revenue Service that confirm a strategy to prosecute conservatives who publicly oppose President Obama’s policies.
“These new documents show that the Obama IRS scandal is also an Obama DOJ and FBI scandal,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “The FBI and Justice Department worked with [IRS official] Lois Lerner and the IRS to concoct some reason to put President Obama’s opponents in jail before his re-election.”
Fitton said the “abuse resulted in the FBI’s illegally obtaining confidential taxpayer information.”
“How can the Justice Department and the FBI investigate the very scandal in which they are implicated?” he asked.
The internal documents uncovered by Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act request confirm the transfer of millions of pages of confidential taxpayer records from the IRS to the DOJ.
The IRS scandal has been in the headlines for several years, since it was revealed the agency selectively impeded the applications for tax-exempt status of conservative, Christian and tea party organizations.
Among the ploys was a demand to reveal the content of prayers and to curb statements on moral issues.
The scandal has been the subject of multiple congressional hearings, including two appearances by Lerner, who ran the tax-exempt division and twice has refused to answer Congress’ questions.
At one point, Lerner’s political bias was exposed in an internal email in which she called conservatives “a–holes” and “crazies.”
When the House of Representatives voted to find her in contempt of Congress and referred her to the DOJ for prosecution, the DOJ, which now is revealed to have played a role, refused to prosecute.
Several lawsuits are pending over the IRS campaign against conservatives.
The new report from Judicial Watch details an October 2010 meeting with Lerner, the DOJ and the FBI.
They were planning for “the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations,” Judicial Watch said.
Records also reveal the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks with 1.25 million pages of IRS returns that are supposed to be confidential. They were from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) groups, or, as Judicial Watch reported, “nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States.”
That move, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has said, “violated federal tax law.”
Judicial Watch said the documents were made public through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
The document from IRS Exempt Organizations Tax Law Specialist Siri Buller to Lerner referenced a meeting with the DOJ’s Criminal Division and the FBI about the “possible criminal prosecution of nonprofit organizations,” the Judicial Watch report said.
Discussed, the documents show, were ideas from “Lois” on how the IRS can revoke or modify “an organization’s exemption retroactively if it omitted or misstated a material fact or operated in a manner different from that originally presented.”
“We discussed the hypothetical situation of a section 501(c)(4) organization that declares itself exempt as a social welfare organization, but at the end of the taxable year has in fact functioned as a political organization,” the memos reveal.
The documents state: “Lois stated that although we do not believe that organizations which are subject to a civil audit subsequently receive any type of immunity from a criminal investigation, she will refer them to individuals from CI who can better answer that question. She explained that we are legally required to separate the civil and criminal aspects of any examination and that while we do not have EO law experts in CI, our FIU agents are experienced in coordinating with CI.”
They even discussed what could be changed in the law.
The email records also show there was a request from an undisclosed Justice Department official to an IRS lawyer asking that copies of employee statements to Congress be provided to the DOJ first.
“One last issue. If any of your clients have documents they are providing to Congress that you can (or would like to) provide to us before their testimony, we would be pleased to receive them. We are 6103 authorized and I can connect you with TIGTA to confirm; we would like the unredacted documents,” a note said.
An earlier document release from Judicial Watch showed that Lerner had communicated with an IRS official about plans “to prosecute nonprofit groups that ‘lied’ (Lerner’s quotation marks) about political activities.”
The investigations are a long way from over. WND reported only a few weeks ago that an inspector general for the U.S. Treasury had uncovered thousands of emails that may help reveal the extent of the IRS targeting of tea party-type groups during the 2004-2013 time frame.
The emails had former IRS chief Lois Lerner’s name all over them; the Hill reported the messages were either sent to her, or sent from her.
In all, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, or TIGTA, uncovered 6,400 new emails the IRS hadn’t turned over to lawmakers on Capitol Hill investigating the election-year scandal.